Thursday, January 15, 2009

Strangling a rickshaw driver

I'm not sure what it is about me that attracts them, perhaps it is the mirth in my eyes or even the girth of my thighs, but whatever it is, I have acquired another rickshaw admirer today. He looked just like Oliver Reed so there was a little admiration going in the other direction too. We started chatting (maybe that's it) and he learnt quite quickly I was from England (no, that must be the attraction) and he asked, as usual, which is better, Madam, England or India. I said for some things India, for others, England. Good answer, he replied, laughing. So he won me over and the conversation started in earnest.

Once the conversation came around to the fact I was a doctor he became even more interested and, interspersed with questions about how much it would cost to come to India and how he wanted to have an English bride, he asked me what pills he should take for his strange tremor. Ever interested in wierd and wonderful symptoms, I leant forward eagerly. Firing questions at him, I tried to work out the diagnosis. A benign essential tremor, anxiety, thyroid disease? When I asked him about a goitre, he (obviously mishearing me and not wanting to be rude) answered with the ubiquitous "Yes".

"Oooh," I said excitedly, "do you mind if I examine you?"

"No" he said. But I think my hands were round his neck before he managed to get the word out fully and with the bumpy ride, and my hands round his throat, it was a bit hard for him to get any words out after. Comletely oblivious to what it must have looked like from the outside, I tried to do a full thyroid exam from the back of a rickshaw, on a complete strangeer, for whom being touched by a stranger, let alone a foreign stranger, is highly suggestive. All this while negotiating heavy, fumey, noisy Banglore traffic. Of course, from an idle spectators viewpoint, of course, it simply looked like I was strangling him, which would have made perfect sense given the erratic nature of his driving.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So he has neck sore on his rickshaw...